Elections matter. The pathetic political stunt a dozen U.S. senators and more than 100 U.S. representatives are planning for today is a direct attack on democracy. We have a system. Primaries, general election, followed by state certification, followed by the vote of the Electoral College, followed by the tallying of the Electoral College vote by the U.S. Congress, followed by the inauguration of the next president.
Every one of these constitutional procedures has been followed in the 2020 election. In every case, Joe Biden has won the presidency. This is how our system works. These are our bylaws, our rules of procedure.
Now a group of Trump toadies are attempting to disrupt the pro forma tally of votes in a joint session of Congress with baseless objections. These are not principled concerns by lovers of order and the U.S. Constitution. These are mere political posturing designed either to curry favor with Trump voters back home or to flatter America’s sore LOSER Donald Trump or to lay the groundwork for re-election or a presidential campaign down the road. What these individuals are attempting — individuals who put their hand on the Bible and swore a solemn oath to the Constitution of the United States, not to Donald Trump — is to overturn our democracy out of fealty to a president who has been retired by the voters after a single term.
In essence, they are expressing their dismay that President-elect Biden defeated President Trump. But in a healthy democracy, we express our dismay politically not constitutionally. What they are doing is not only reckless and desperate but also inane and silly and pathetic. They are in a relatively small way damaging our battered republic, which moves toward the election finishing line looking like Chevy Chase’s station wagon at the end of National Lampoon’s Vacation.
We are playing with fire here. If we were really a republic any more, these dozen senators and scores of representatives would be ignominiously defeated at their next election. In other words, they should be held accountable for either fundamentally misunderstanding how our venerable but tattered system works or for trying to trample on the will of the people.
These selfish stunts give encouragement to those who are taking to the streets in potentially violent protest over a fair national election. These Sedition Senators and Rebel Representatives are throwing kerosene on an extremely volatile minority of the population, some of whom have a barely subterranean urge to violence and mayhem. If there are beatings, shooting, and killings in the next weeks, these senators and representatives will bear some responsibility.
I’m sick at heart to think that the “world’s best hope” has descended into this kind of political circus, led by individuals (like the highly educated Ted Cruz) who know better. They would cling to power by overturning the Constitution.
Just for a moment ask yourself what would happen if they get away with it, if they overturn the election, and we wake up tomorrow or in three weeks to realize that there has been an actual coup d’etat in the United States of America.
This is not Bush v. Gore from 2000. This would be an actual junta, the stuff of autocratic regimes presided over by violent strongmen.
How can it possibly have come to this? To repeat: There is not a shred of legitimacy to the stunt that these senators and representatives are staging today. Thank goodness most Republicans in Congress are refusing to join this tinpot dictatorship gambit, even though they are naturally disappointed by the results of the 2020 election.
I respect North Dakota’s three-person congressional delegation for refusing to be part of this disgusting and appalling assault on the U.S. Constitution and the citizens of the United States.